Irish star has stopped tweeting after being on the receiving end of abuse on the social networking site in the wake of his inclusion in Giovanni Trapattoni's 23-man outfit
McClean's @JMC_23 account has a 'Sorry, that page doesn't exist' message after the player elected to quit the social network. The Sunderland winger had been targeted by irate Northern Ireland fans who vented their anger that the Derry born star opted to play for the Republic of Ireland instead.
One tweet said: “F*** up your dirty fenian b****** il make sure you get shot when you set foot back into gods country #FTP,” one user tweeted."
Another angry fan wrote: “U deserve to be shot for that comment!! Your playing for Ireland and not the country you were born in (NI). #p****”
It's understood that the users who sent the offending tweets subsequently closed their accounts.
McClean, who represented Northern Ireland at youth level, appeared to anger the Twitter fraternity by engaging with them following his call up into Giovanni Trapattoni's Euro 2012 squad. Following his inclusion he tweeted: “Love the dogs abuse am gettin of shock N.I fans, just worry about watchin ur own country at the euros... oh wait #mybad #awkward haha.”
His decision to abandon the popular social network has prompted a flurry of response from twitter users. One said: "I really did think we were past all this. What a shame" while another was less sympathetic saying: "James McClean was to blame for twitter abuse noone else."
The Football Association of Ireland said in a statement: "It’s unfortunate that he has come off Twitter but maybe it’s best in the short term for him."
Sunderland chief executive Margaret Byrne said: "Any incidents of this nature are treated with the utmost seriousness and the club is looking into this matter carefully.’’